Sachin Tendulkar's World Cup message to Team India
It was in 2011 in the backdrop of Gateway of India in India’s commercial capital Mumbai that Sachin Tendulkar last had a World Cup trophy in his hand. He was part of the winning Indian team then and the photo has been framed in the history of Indian cricket forever.
Four years hence, he again had a World Cup trophy in his hand; not as a player but as an ambassador for the World Cup at a promotional event organised by MRF. The venue for the event was aptly ITC Maratha, for he has truly been one great Maratha from the land of the great warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji.
Wherever the Little Master goes, there can never be a dearth of chants of “Sachin ..Sachin” and Saturday evening at Mumbai’s ITC Maratha was no different. He walked in with the World Cup trophy and narrated his personal World Cup journey. The journey which started in 1983, when as a young boy he had seen Kapil’s Devils lift the Cup at the Lord’s balcony.
The next edition in 1987 was at home and he witnessed it as a ball boy at the Wankhede stadium. Little did he know that he would be back at the same ground as a player to lift the Cup after twenty four years. As per him, it feels as though his life completed a full circle when he became an ambassador of the 2011 and 2015 world cup.
Sachin’s long association with MRF
Well, it’s not just with the World Cup, I believe his association with MRF has also completed a full circle. An association which started long back in 1985 when as a 12-year-old kid, he was taken to the MRF pace academy. It is a different story that the Australian legend Dennis Lille asked him to put on his pads and try his hands at batting instead of pace bowling.
This weekend, he was present as a brand ambassador of MRF to give awards to the winners of the MRF Pace tryout contest. “Little diamonds, soon you will be getting this trophy back in India,” he said.
Youngsters were thrilled to receive the award from the hands of their hero and most of the winners touched his feet to seek his blessings. One winner from Kolkata thought he was in a dream and asked to be pinched to make him believe that the cricketing God was indeed in front of his eyes.
Having retired from the game in 2013, he said that earlier he used to bat on the field but will now bat off the field like all his fans have done throughout his career. He also stressed on the importance of support for sportsmen and urged everyone to support the team irrespective of the result.
It reminded me of the request he had made to the Indian public to support the team in the World Cup 2003. This had to be done after few irate fans had attacked houses of cricketers after India’s team loss to Australia in one of the league games.
On being asked to give a message to the Indian team, the maestro had a short and simple message - “Enjoy the game, give your best; we are with you”.
Perhaps, given the current form of the Indian team down under, MS Dhoni might still have loved to have him in the team.